“Our son’s doctor ordered a test that requires blood work. My son HATES to have his blood drawn and is afraid of needles. What can I do to relieve his fear as well as his pain?”

Samantha, Mom to Joseph (5) Autism

Hi Samantha,

This is a great question and one that both Nurse Shannon and I hear a lot.  Many parents have found it helpful to bring their child to the clinic prior to getting lab work done. Let your child meet the staff and see the center without having any appointments. And of course, stop by the Nursing Station and let us say hello. Kids who get familiar with us initially in a noninvasive way don’t immediately associate a trip to the clinic with “trauma” and they do much better when they come in for lab work.

As for the pain that a child feels from a blood draw, we do have options available. The most common practice is to apply ELMA cream to your child’s “poke site” prior to lab work. EMLA cream is a topical anesthetic that numbs the skin and decreases the sensation of pain, so your child will not feel the needle poke. The cream should be applied 45 minutes to one hour before your appointment.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this protocol and to get your prescription for it.

Nurse Shannon and I do try our very best to help distract your child and make it as painless as possible. We have DVDs, children toys, and many more activities to help keep their minds focused elsewhere.

Thanks for your wonderful question. I know it is one that is on the minds of many of our parents.

Nurse Ann